GWENT'S major hospital is once again experiencing high levels of demand, with patients urged to stay away unless “absolutely necessary”.

Earlier this week, the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board took to social media, urging that only those with life-threatening illness or serious injury visit The Grange in Cwmbran – the primary hospital for Newport and the wider Gwent area.

In the days that have followed, a representative for the health board confirmed to the Argus that this warning, which was posted on the evening of Monday, July 4, came as a result of “very high levels of demand”, and covid cases among hospital staff.

While it is unclear how many staff members at the hospital are currently affected by the virus, is was confirmed that covid within the staff team is “as reflected in our communities, also causing further strain on our services.”

At this time, it is estimated that around one-in-30 people in Wales currently have covid, with an omicron variant currently the primary source of coronavirus nationwide.

In response to this, every health board in Wales – including the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, has reintroduced the mask and face covering requirement for staff and employees.

Meanwhile, anyone looking to visit hospital for treatment is once again being urged to consider whether they need to visit A&E, or whether minor injury units such as the Royal Gwent in Newport, or Neville Hall in Abergavenny might be more appropriate.

The hospitals in Ystrad Mynach and Ebbw Vale are also home to minor injury units and are designed to receive patients with “less serious” injuries.

Statement from the health board in full

A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board said: “Over recent weeks, The Emergency Department (ED) at The Grange University Hospital has experienced very high levels of demand, due to large amounts of very poorly people requiring emergency care.

“The high number of Covid-19 cases amongst our staff, as reflected in our communities, is also causing further strain on our services.

“We are continuing to ask people to think very carefully before they attend the Emergency Department– this facility is designed to treat the most severely unwell and injured patients for conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and very severe injuries.

“We would encourage those that are not seriously ill to consider the other options available, or to contact NHS 111 Wales if they are unsure where to go.”